#justiceforserentiy. Children's services minister does not have to wait for the panel recommendations to get to work on changing the broken child welfare system. She can begin by improving the lacklustre child and youth advocate and giving it the powers to enforce the recommendations that are ignored by the GOA. She can also provide penalties and consequences for failure of government workers to do their jobs. She can remove the secrecy from the system. But is she up to the job? As far as I can tell the entire NDP crew is cruising while we're waiting for action. We have been clear in our requirement for change. We are disappointed in the performance of the new hires. They only have two years to deliver. And it's pretty clear to me at least that they won't deliver but simply give us the words that we have heard over and over again from the PCs. We are beyond that point minister. Not words, minister--action.
The tired platitudes we are forced to hear from our hires is annoying. Why can't they at least come up with solutions?
Here is an idea-ask the people most impacted by these deaths what to do.
Go to the families.
We hired the NDP folks to do work and change the culture at the GOA. So far I have seen no evidence of any change in the secretive and poorly managed GOA. Why should we rehire folks who can't make a difference?
I am tired of hearing the same trite statements out of the mouths of ministers and MLAs. Time to do the change business folks. And don't wait for this business. You can start now by adding more powers to the ineffectual child and youth advocate position. This office seems to be all about begging government for information and begging government to accept recommendations it ignores. How about a child and youth advocate with the powers to force recommendation acceptance? How about a child and youth advocate who is able to tell us the real names of kids rather than call them Marie instead of Serenity? How about a child and youth advocate who will kick GOA rump like we will in the next provincial election?
Children services minister 'devastated' by photos of Serenity on life support
Published on: March 23, 2017 | Last Updated: March 23, 2017 7:01 PM MDT
Children's Services Minister Danielle Larivee is waiting for recommendations from the all-party child intervention panel. LARRY WONG/ POSTMEDIA
Expanding the powers of Alberta’s child and youth advocate isn’t on the government’s to-do list right now, the children’s services minister said Thursday after being questioned following the release of new photos of a girl who died while in government care.
Instead, Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said she will await the recommendations of Alberta’s all-party child intervention panel, charged with identifying ways to fix a broken system.
The death of four-year-old Serenity in 2014 was again brought up in the legislature Thursday after photos of the little girl on life support were published the day before in the Edmonton Journal.
Larivee called those images “horrific.”
“As human beings, we’re devastated to think that such a small child would have gone through that,” she told the Journal.
A photograph of Serenity, taken on Sept. 24, 2014, at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton by her mother. The little girl died three days later after being removed from life support. SUPPLIED / EDMONTON
Serenity’s death was the focus of a round of questions thrown at the government by opposition MLAs Thursday.
Jason Nixon, Wildrose’s panel representative, wanted to know when somebody will be charged in Serenity’s death.
The case has been in the hands of Crown prosecutors since last year.
Larivee wouldn’t comment on the legal aspects of the file, but told Postmedia she’s confident prosectors are “doing all they can to deal with a very difficult case.”
“I think some members (of the panel) would like to see this about holding a trial for the people involved in the Serenity case and turning it into an inquiry, instead of being about what changes we can make to the system,” she said.
“I’m very focused on protecting children in the future.”
Questions in the house came after a Thursday morning meeting between Larivee and child and youth advocate Del Graff.
Larivee said giving Graff’s office more power wasn’t part of their conversation — it was more about the need to work closely together to improve the child welfare system.
Larivee said she’s pleased with the work of the panel so far and the collaboration she is seeing around the table.
She is also confident it will be able to pull together recommendations to improve Alberta’s child death review process within the next three weeks.
Calgary-Shaw NDP MLA Graham Sucha is also on the child intervention panel and Thursday made a passionate plea for all parties to work together to protect children in government care.
“It is clear that our system can, and must, be improved,” he said.
“While we feel many things when we see these photos and hear these stories, we must never feel hopeless or helpless, because we have work to do. All of us.”